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    Valero, Love's, VERC Place Emphasis on Community Donations

    Millions pledged to children's organizations, while homeless shelters gains volunteers.

    SAN ANTONIO -- Buoyed by more than 2,000 sponsors, businesses and community partners, the Valero Texas Open Benefit for Children Golf Classic raised a record $8.5 million for children’s charities.

    "It never stops being exciting—the chance to raise even more money for children’s charities in all of the areas where Valero operates," Gene Edwards, executive vice president of corporate development and strategic planning, said in a statement. "Valero is so thankful for its generous business partners, who every year give even more to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children."

    On Monday Oct. 13, a record number of participants will play golf at 10 of San Antonio’s premier golf courses in this year’s Benefit for Children, noted Edwards. Funds will be donated to children’s charities in locations where Valero operates.

    The $8.5 million fundraising total keeps the Valero Texas Open among the most charitable tournaments on the PGA Tour, explained Golf San Antonio Chairman Tom Stephenson.

    "Valero’s partnership with the Valero Texas Open has only grown stronger over the years," Stephenson said in a statement. "Through the support of Valero’s many volunteers, and the generosity of its sponsors, the Valero Texas Open continues to be a recognized and respected stop on the Tour. And we look forward to doing it all over again in May 2009."

    In related fundraising news, Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores raised $760,000 during its annual fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network, an increase of 84 percent from the $415,000 generated in 2007, and the highest total in the 10-year history of the campaign, explained Tom Love, founder and chairman of Love’s.

    "In spite of the current economic climate, our employees and customers managed to raise a record amount for Children's Miracle Network," Love said in a statement. "We are proud that their efforts will help provide state-of-the art medical care to seriously ill children across the country."

    Since 1998, Love’s and its customers have raised more than $2.5 million to help sick children in the communities where it operates stores.

    "Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores has been an important corporate partner of Children's Miracle Network for the past 10 years," said Marie Osmond, co-founder of Children’s Miracle Network. "The support we receive from Love’s is vital to helping us provide ongoing financial assistance to 170 premier children's hospitals across the country that treat more than 17 million sick kids each year."

    Meanwhile, employees of VERC Enterprises are volunteering at Boston’s Pine Street Inn in an effort to give back to the community. Every third Wednesday of the month, 300 homeless individuals are provided meals and comfort by VERC Enterprises and Holy Family Parish volunteers.

    "Having the opportunity to give back is essential to so many of our staff," said VERC Enterprises CEO Leo Vercollone. "It is with pride and pleasure that we announce our continuing efforts to assist at the Pine Street Inn."

    "This has become an important program to our employees," added Peggy Leonard, executive assistant at VERC Enterprises and overseer of the company's volunteer efforts. "We can only bring eight volunteers at a time, so people are taking turns."

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